Wireless temperature monitoring

Wireless temperature sensor NIST traceability: Say what?

Lots of wireless temperature sensors claim to be NIST traceable. But what the blazes does that mean?



Want a really killer talk track for the next obligatory benefit/fundraiser your spouse drags… er, uh…invites you to attend?

Try this one while chewing a cud of cheese and mystery meat between sips of warm wine: “You know, what impressed me was their wireless temperature sensors are NIST traceable.”

That should light a fire in the room. (It certainly will once your spouse gets wind of it.)

But before you drop that conversational atomic bomb and scorch the earth with your volubility and verbal artistry, it might serve to understand exactly what NIST traceable actually is.

First things first. What the blazes is NIST?

That obscure acronym is a proxy for National Institute of Standards and Technology, a measurement standards laboratory and non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. If you really want to impress, casually work in that NIST was founded in 1901 and headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

There’s a lot of federal mumbo-jumbo in NIST’s mission statement, but suffice it to say it exists to funnel your tax dollars toward the advancement of “measurement science, standards, and technology.”

Don’t you feel the room constricting in breathless anticipation of your next utterance?

“So what does a federal agency have to do with a temperature probe, and why should I care?” your conversation companion asks?

Bingo! There’s the money pitch.

NIST, you tell him, maintains the U.S. national standards for temperature. That wireless temperature sensor in your pocket can’t be trusted unless its calibration can be traced in an unbroken chain back to a sensor sitting on a lab table at NIST headquarters – which as we all now know is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

So here’s how it works:    Sonicu's wireless temperature sensors are calibrated onsite and NIST traceable.

1. Wireless temperature Sensor A is sent by manufacturer to NIST for calibration against its wireless temperature sensor known as the Big Kahuna. (We made the name up, but feel free to use if the conversation starts lagging.)

2. Upon Sensor A’s return from its calibration dance with the Big Kahuna, manufacturer calibrates a new sensor – Sensor B – to Sensor A, thus establishing a direct, documented paper chain between Sensor B and the Big Kahuna itself.

3. The same process can be repeated with Sensor C, thereby creating – you guessed it – another link in the unbroken chain of traceability back to the BK.

4. A wireless temperature sensor that has a piece of paper documenting its link to the Big Kahuna is said to be NIST traceable, which means it can be trusted.

How easy is that? What’s hard is not sputtering Swedish meatball shrapnel on your discussion mate while saying “NIST traceable.”

By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, the wireless temperature sensors and probes used in Sonicu’s remote temperature monitoring solutions are all NIST traceable.

Just sayin’; now go get another plate of hors d’oeuvres.

For more information about Sonicu’s wireless temperature monitoring and wireless NIST traceable (See how easy that is?) sensors and probes, contact Joe Mundell, Sonicu vice president of sales at (317) 586-4808 or email him at jmundell@sonicu.com.

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